Sunday, August 19, 2012

Back to School

Five years ago I delivered a bright-eyed kindergartner to her classroom and made a beeline for Thomas Elementary's Boo-Hoo Breakfast. If you're not familiar with the concept of a boo-hoo breakfast, it's an opportunity for moms (and dads) to get together, shed a few tears, wipe them away, and consume some carbs before heading off to work. Great concept.

Addie's first day of kindergarten

And I'll admit, I was a little teary-eyed that day. After all, I had just dropped off my first-born, I was four months post-partum, and I had a sneaking suspicion that the 17-year-olds I would meet in my first class of the day weren't going to be nearly as excited about the start of school as their elementary school counterparts. Just a suspicion.

This year we dropped off Isaac for his first day of school.

Isaac's first day of kindergarten

And we had our own little boo-hoo breakfast (minus the breakfast).

For all the wrong reasons.

As you well know, most parents who drop off their 5 year olds for their first day of kindergarten do so with tears in their eyes and lumps in their throats. And while I hung on a little longer as Isaac gave me one final hug, I have to admit, my tears were for the child I didn't drop off for school that day.

My forever fourth-grader.

Addie, the fourth-grader, Isaac, the preschooler, and Tripp

The one whose backpack still rests next to the bench in the living room and whose bookmark still marks the spot in the book she didn't get to finish.

I know I'm supposed to emerge from all this a better person, but these days I seem to be the absolute worst version of myself. To prove my point, I'll go ahead and say it:

It's not fair.

It's not fair that Addie won't ever get past basic long division. Or giggle in the stands at a football game. Or know what it feels like to crush on a boy.

Sure Scott and I have thought about those major milestones she won't get to experience (prom, graduation, college, marriage), but it's the little things that bring the most pain. I'm not sure why. Maybe because that's where we're at. After all, she was only 9 years old. Prom was light years away and vet school was even further.

Or maybe, just maybe, because like everyone else in the world, we took all those little things for granted.

So what are we to do?

Savor the moment. Soak it all in.

That's what the better person would do.

I'm not there yet and our little boys are still, well, little boys.

But when Isaac wanted to tell us about his first day of kindergarten, you can bet we hung on to every, single word.

Apparently not everyone is happy about the first day of school.
Addie is still with us in spirit and in the picture Isaac drew of her
in the background.

Isaac, Tripp, and the tree Addie's
classmates purchased in her memory.
Ready to do a puzzle.

And a few more from years past...

First day of first grade
First day of second grade

First day of third grade
First day of fourth grade

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